Fisker to Build Electric Popemobile, White House Wants Beast EV

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

After clandestine meetings with Pope Francis, Fisker is reportedly going to develop an electric Popemobile — a term the Vatican has repeatedly asked everyone to stop using. Due to arrive next year, the vehicle is supposed to be a heavily modified version of the brand’s upcoming electric Ocean crossover.

Pope Francis has long been presenting himself as a surface-level environmentalist with absolutely terrible taste in automobiles. He added two Toyota Mirais to the Status Civitatis Vaticanae garage in 2020 while predictably flipping a Lamborghini Huracán (built specifically for him by the company) in 2018. His Alleged Holiness is also said to be partial to the Fiat 500L, Nissan Frontier, and Isuzu D-Max — though he frequently rides around in locally produced customs as a way to ingratiate himself with the masses he’s visiting. Provided they’ve met the needs of the trip and cater specifically to the pope’s preferences, he’s not picky.

According to Fisker, that meant giving the Ocean additional eco-conscious features like a carpet made from recycled plastic and a solar roof. The automaker was given a private audience with Frances and company on Thursday and the design has been agreed upon for development, according to Reuters.

While most Popemobiles have traditionally required bulletproof glass, Francis has gone without on several of his vehicles and plans to use plain old glass on the Ocean’s cupola. He claims that he’s not particularly worried about assassination at his age, even though his private security team (the Pontifical Swiss Guard) consists of 135 armed men.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki recently stated that electrifying the presidential limo has become a priority for Joe Biden. Following his public endorsement (commercial, really) of Ford’s F-150 Lightning, Psaki was asked by reporters if Biden would consider electrifying the General Motors limo colloquially known as “The Beast.”

“That’s certainly something the President has talked about and is an objective for him,” she responded.

Considering the car already weighs upwards of 15,000 pounds, it’s difficult to imagine the stretch making it through a single parade before needing to be recharged. There’s also no obvious place to install the batteries as the vehicle is already heavily armored, including the undercarriage where those battery packs would need to be installed.

More realistically, the limo could become hybridized — offering the practical advantages of gasoline while giving the White House an opportunity to pretend it’s done something environmentally relevant by redesigning one vehicle. There are even potential logistical advantages associated with swapping to a hybrid powertrain. But we don’t think Psaki thought about the physics behind any of it and likely just answered the question in the only way that aligned with the administration’s stated environmental and infrastructure goals.

[Image: Lamborghini; Fisker]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on May 24, 2021

    Poor Matt...You made Sinead O'Conner's stance on John Paul II look downright hard.

  • 285exp 285exp on May 24, 2021

    If God hadn’t wanted the pope to have an EV popemobile he wouldn’t have sent us St Elon of Musk. The poor and oppressed will be happy that he will be wafted along in electric luxury while saving their mortal bodies as well as their immortal souls. It’s great that Biden can pause from his sincere efforts to unify the country, promoting peace in the Middle East, enabling Putin to build a gas pipeline to Germany, solving the total Non-crisis at the border, and threatening to run over a “journalist” who took time off from licking his boots long enough to ask him a question he didn’t want to answer, so he can get to important matters like an EV Beast.

  • Bd2 Probably too late to do anything about it for the launch, but Kia should plan on doing an extensive refresh of the front fascia (the earlier, the better) as the design looks really ungainly.
  • Namesakeone Since I include SUVs and minivans as trucks, I really cannot think of a brand that is truly truckless. MG maybe?
  • Sobhuza Trooper Subaru, they were almost there with the BRAT. --On a lighter note, where the hell is my Cooper Works Mini truck?
  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.